Australian mining contractor evacuating West African gold mine after deadly attack

Australian mining contractor Perenti Global is airlifting its employees out of a gold mine in Burkina Faso following a deadly militia attack that left 19 of its staff dead and 26 injured.

“The evacuation process is under way for all staff remaining at the Boungou mine site via helicopter,” said Perth-based Perenti in a statement to the ASX.

Perenti added that it was doing everything possible to ensure the injured received the best possible care, with counselling services established for families and employees.

The death toll from last week’s gun attack on a convoy of five buses carrying hundreds of local employees and contractors from the mine owned by Canada’s Semafo currently stands at 39, with 60 wounded.

Perenti’s chief executive Mark Norwell said tragedy was difficult to comprehend. “These are hard-working innocent people simply trying to provide a livelihood for their families,” he said.

Semafo said yesterday it will not resume operations at the Boungou mine until security in the area is assured. Operations have been suspended since the tragedy occurred.